Nov 6th 2022

Open Labs

Deepening the creative process through community exchange

Co-presented and produced by High Concept Labs and the Monira Foundation in Joint Residency at Mana Contemporary

Registration required: Register Here
*Masks are required.

Open Labs is a flexible, monthly platform for High Concept Labs’ Artists in Residence to share, test ideas, and develop perspective on their work.

Yoshinojo Fujima aka Rika Lin: Kurokami E{m}Urge #ChooseYourReality

Sunday, November 6, 6:00pm-8:00pm & Sunday, November 13, 6:00pm-8:00pm

Virtual Reality Experience by HCL Fellow Yoshinojo Fujima aka Rika Lin

Limited capacity and VR headset. Registration required.

Presented by High Concept Labs and the Monira Foundation in Joint Residency at Mana Contemporary

HCL Fellow Yoshinojo Fujima aka Rika Lin presents a virtual reality experience, “Kurokami E{m}Urge #ChooseYourReality”, co-directed with filmmaker Subhash Kumar Maskara, in Mumbai, India, and created in collaboration with Hekiun Oda, a Grandmaster of Shodo traditional Japanese calligraphy, Nozawa Matsuya, a Kabuki Gidayu Shamisen artist in Kyoto, Japan, and Toyoaki Sanjuro, Ozashiki Shamisen player from Tokyo, Japan.

Yoshinojo Fujima explains, “The pandemic’s onset coincided with the start of developing this virtual experience. It was an unexpected opportunity to create in a manner that inspires a different avenue of thought, cognition, and realization is an exciting opportunity. Due to the individual and technological nature of the experience, a setting that is indoors, calm, and spacious, such as the HCL studio, was conducive to achieving the intended experience for the individual.

Kurokami E{m}Urge is taken from a Kabuki play scene, and the intended experience is self-realization of thoughts regarding one’s own identity, the connection between all beings, and the ability to sympathize and relate one’s own beliefs while exploring from within another precept, in this case, during a virtual happening. The piece is a work in progress, and at a stage of development that the experience can be provided using the Oculus 2/Meta headset.”

About the Artist

Yoshinojo Fujima (aka Rika Lin) is “shin-nisei”, part of the postwar Japanese American diaspora. She is an interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, and Grandmaster in Fujima style Japanese classical dance. She has performed her original works and as part of many collaborations at Links Hall, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), where she premiered her full length work Asobi: Playing within Time in 2018. A core member of the organization Asian Improv aRts Midwest, she promotes identity and tradition through performance as well as her teaching practice in Japanese classical dance. She is recipient of a John D. and Susan P. Diekman Fellowship Djerassi Resident Artist (2019), has received residencies at Ragdale Foundation (2019) and High Concept Labs (2018), a Links Hall Artistic Associate Curatorial Resident, 3Arts Make a Wave artist, and Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist (2017.)

Yoshinojo’s curated series “Beyond the Box”, launched in 2017, centers on female performers and creatives. Her own dance investigations alter the traditional pedagogy of Japanese dance with humor and subtle transgressions by way of questioning ideas of role and identity. Her collaborative project, Suji: Lines of Tradition, with the puppet artist Tom Lee, was featured as part of the 2019 Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Links Hall 40th Anniversary LinkSirkus, as well as her Beyond the Box series. In March 2020 she performed in Kyoto, Japan at UrbanGuild as part of the MushiHime Festival, just before the pandemic came into full force. She is a recent Master Apprentice Ethnic Folk Arts Grant recipient, and adapting the pedagogy of traditional Japanese Classical dance with her mentor/teacher.

For more information visit

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